Former Rockland Selectman John R. Llewellyn Fined $2,000
for Accepting Promotion to Deputy Police Chief While He was a Selectman-Agreement requires Llewellyn to resign as deputy chief
The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission issued a Disposition Agreement in which former Rockland selectman John R. Llewellyn admitted violating M.G.L. c. 268A, the state's conflict of interest law, and agreed to resign his position as deputy chief in the Rockland Police Department. Llewellyn also paid a civil penalty of $2,000.
According to the Disposition Agreement Llewellyn served as a Rockland police officer since 1988 and was promoted to patrol sergeant in 1997. In 1999, he was elected to the board of selectmen. Section 20 of the conflict of interest law generally prohibits a municipal official from having a financial interest in a contract made by a municipal agency of the same city or town. An exemption to this section of the law allowed Llewellyn to continue to hold the position of police sergeant after his election in 1999 to the board of selectmen. The exemption, however, prohibits a municipal employee who is elected to the board of selectmen from being eligible for appointment or re-appointment to a new position while he serves on the board or for six months thereafter.
In September 2004, Llewellyn received advice from the Commission that he could not accept a promotion to a new position, such as deputy chief, while continuing to serve as a selectman or for six months thereafter. In December 2004, the police chief offered Llewellyn the deputy chief position. Llewellyn accepted the job as of January 2005 and sought to resign from the board of selectmen. When he learned of the costs involved for holding a special election to fill a selectman vacancy, Llewellyn decided to stay on the Board until April 2005, when the next election was scheduled to occur.
"The conflict of interest law bars selectmen from being appointed to paid positions that they did not hold before they became selectmen," said Executive Director Peter Sturges. "The law does not allow selectmen or any other municipal employee to pick and choose which parts of the law they will follow."